May Awareness Month: EDS and my life

May Awareness Month: EDS and my life

May is national Ehlers Danlos Syndrome awareness month. EDS is a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects many different body systems. The international symbol for EDS is the zebra. EDS is a rare disorder, like a zebra is rare compared to a horse.

I struggle with a hypermobility syndrome, most likely hypermobile EDS. Most of my joints move beyond a normal range of motion, causing injury and chronic pain. I also have gastrointestinal symptoms, respiratory symptoms, and eye problems. I have made a list of some of the ways EDS affects my life. I especially struggle with severe chronic pain. I want to help raise awareness of this syndrome for better medical treatments and public understanding.

1. My bendy joints help me to move.

My joints are flexible, and I have always enjoyed stretching and yoga. It is easy for me to get up and down from the floor. I am quite comfortable sitting in lotus for meditation. My hypermobile ankles give me a good, strong kick when I swim. Swimming is one of my favorite exercises, soothing my sore body.

2. Sports injuries are a constant struggle for me.

My hypermobile ankles and feet hurt when I run. I have suffered countless sprains because of the weak connective tissue in my ankles. Sometimes I sprain while walking around during my daily life. I have undergone complicated ankle surgery that left me still in pain. I have spent years in physical therapy. But I can rock a pair of crutches! Ehlers Danlos means that some days I walk and look normal, other days I have to use crutches or a cane to get around. read more

Memorial Day 2017: Reiki and hope for peace

Memorial Day 2017: Reiki and hope for peace

On this Memorial Day, my heart longs for peace. Tears form in my eyes as I watch television images of wounded and fallen soldiers, victims of war. I cringe as I hear the planes from a memorial airshow flying over my apartment. I say a prayer for families trapped in war zones. They live day in and day out with those planes flying over, dropping bombs and death on their innocent lives. My hands are hot with Reiki and love as I meditate and write peace over the world.

Where does all this war come from? Why do we hate each other so? In the Bible, Jesus taught his disciples about the Father’s kingdom, a kingdom of Love. In the kingdom of Love, Jesus said we must learn to even love our enemies. At the end of Jesus’ life, Peter cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant to try and protect Jesus from violence. Jesus corrected Peter and responded in peace by laying his healing hands on the servant’s ear.

Jesus taught us to show love by healing the helpless, bandaging the bruised, washing the wounds of the world. As we recognize our oneness, we spread sacred Reiki healing around the world. We are all brothers and sisters, beloved children of the Creator.

The Creator is Love. God is the definition of love. God is an infinite ocean of love. Each of us is only a droplet in this ocean, reflecting the light of the Source. We become perfect when we embrace ourselves in that love, give voice to that love, embody that love on this physical earth.

War is the opposite of love. War is the opposite of God. Why do we divide ourselves in war? Why do we mourn our fallen soldiers, then go on and create more war? Why did my Christian community teach me to love war as I was growing up?

My heart cannot understand all the praise my family gave to war. My heart grieves the adoration my church gave the military and hi-tech weapons. There is big money, and greed, tied up in US weapons manufacturing. The masters or war sell this to the churches as “patriotism” and “pride”. My church taught me that the United States only fights “just wars”. They said that war is how we free the victims and the oppressed.

Yes, for sure, God’s heart is for the victim and the oppressed. But war creates oppression, not solves it.

Still, there is hope. I think of the American churches who welcome Syrian refugees with open hearts and homes. This New York Times Article is a great example. I think of the Quaker churches who have always preached peace and nonviolence. I think of the churches who have declared themselves sanctuaries. They are housing Latin American immigrants caught in political wars. Each of these churches flow as bright droplets of light in the ocean of Love. They understand the teachings of Jesus and the heart of God.

I am grateful to my childhood church for encouraging me to read the Bible. There is so much beauty and love in its pages. There is theological explanation of the human condition. There is grace for the many mistakes of imperfect humans. We are all learning to trade darkness for light, greed for charity, fear for hope.

The Bible teaches me that we must tame the war inside ourselves to stop all the war outside.

On this Memorial Day, I hold my Bible and I read the hope of Isaiah. I share the prophet’s hope that someday the whole world will beat their swords into plowshares. Someday we will practice war no more. Someday we will have no more fallen soldiers and refugee victims. I hold out my hands of peace and I pray for Reiki healing over this war-torn world.

Isaiah 2

3 Many peoples will come and say,

“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
to the temple of the God of Jacob.
He will teach us his ways,
so that we may walk in his paths.”
The law will go out from Zion,
the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He will judge between the nations
and will settle disputes for many peoples.
They will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore. read more

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